top of page


2015 Production Team Bios

John Cal (Writer/Composer/Creative Producer)

For John Cal, creating music has been a lifelong passion. In 1966, he joined his first rock’n’roll garage band and started writing songs. A self-taught musician and vocalist, “Top Forty” AM radio was his inspiration and template. Playing in various cover bands throughout high school and college, he honed his technical skills and developed a deep understanding of pop song composition, musical structure and harmony. Eventually, his musical endeavors focused exclusively on the creative rush of songwriting. Today, John Cal’s song catalog is varied and extensive. He writes both from the heart and for purpose, bridging musical styles and generational tastes. His lyrics are genuine and speak to and for the feelings of many; his melodies contagious and hard to forget. John’s music has always shared life with his business career and his family. Leadership and Business Development being his strengths, John Cal rose to the position of Vice President with several organizations and achieved thirty-five national awards for his accomplishments. In 2007, John moved to the Twin Cities to be close to his daughter Amanda, son-in-law Alex and their most special granddaughters, Avery and Emerson. “Philly,” is based on the true story of one of John Cal’s most talented bands and most memorable times of his life.


Rebecca Rizzio (Director/Creative Producer)

Directing credits include: "The Producers" and "The Miracle Worker" for the Phipps Center for the Arts; "girl group" by Carol Critchley, "The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women" and Lisa Loomer’s "Expecting Isabel" for Theatre Unbound; "Annie," Irving Berlin’s
"White Christmas," and the Cabaret Fundraiser for 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons at Lyric Arts of Anoka; and "Nest" for Table Salt Productions. She was a core company member with Theatre Unbound from 2007-2013 where she participated as both director and writer in their Director’s Gym and 24-Hour Xtreme Theatre Smackdown and served as the chair of the board development committee. She also assistant directed their production of "How I Learned to Drive" (dir Maggie Scanlan). Rebecca holds a B.A. from Concordia College where she received a theatre scholarship and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University.


Kevin Coughlin (Co-Writer Original Book)

Kevin was born in New Jersey, grew up in New York and Florida (the 6th Borough of New York City) and has lived in St. Paul, Minnesota for over 20 years. A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Kevin is the author of over twenty screenplays and play scripts, and most recently, a dozen or more children’s books, and was an IFP/McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship Finalist.


Cathy Wind (Choreographer)

Cathy is a choreographer, dancer and producer. She has worked professionally as a dancer/choreographer with entertainers including Regis Philbin, Queen of Sweden, Cathy Rigby, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, and Dr. Maya Angelou. Co-founder and artistic director of “Keane Sense of Rhythm” tap company has given her the opportunity to perform around the US, Canada and Europe including performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and the Minneapolis and Thunder Bay Fringe Festivals, Superbowl, Americas Got Talent promotion for NBC, as well as Poland's International Dance Festival. Cathy choreographs for colleges, high schools, talent shows, and a variety of musical theater. She has accumulated numerous awards including the Hennepin Theater Trust Spotlight award for choreography. Teaching venues include St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, St. Cloud State University, and the University of Minnesota. Cathy is an Entertainment Coordinator and choreographer for corporate shows and theater productions including Creative Development International, Carlson Companies, Pop 2Life, and Marshall Fields.


Ian Zahren (Vocal Director)

Ian is originally from Amana, Iowa.  He received his BA in Theatre Arts from Point Park Conservatory in Pittsburg and has traveled regionally, nationally and internationally as a performer, educator and composer.  Most notably his composition work has been work represented at The Broadway Musical Institute under the direction of Alan Menken.  His original work has also been performed at Carnegie Mellon's New Works Festival and Off Off Broadway at the Musically Human Theatre Project in New York City.   His favorite roles include LM ("Pump Boys and Dinettes"), Joe ("9 to 5") and Boy ("If You Give A Mouse A Cookie").  Ian has also performed and musically directed at The Old Log Theatre, Excelsior, MN.  He was most recently seen in "Colossal" at Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis.   Ian is an adjunct faculty member at The Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts and continues to teach and hold workshops at The Children's Theatre and Youth Performance Company in Minneapolis.  When Ian isn't performing he can be found at his voice studio and teaching at Educational Outreach programs throughout the Twin Cities.


Mark Koski (Set and Lighting Designer)

Mark is very excited to be reprising his role as the scenic and lighting designer for Philly.  Mark has been freelance designing scenery and lighting professionally around the country since he obtained his MFA in Scenography from the University of Minnesota in 1994, and his BFA in Theatre from North Dakota State University in 1991.  He is the resident technical director at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, since 1997, where he has also freelanced as a designer and performed onstage in various different productions.  Recently he has designed the scenery for Boeing Boeing for Lyric Arts in Anoka, MN; scenery and lighting for Bah Humbug! at The Phipps Center for the Arts, and is currently working on scenery and lighting for Hudson High School's production of Mary Poppins.  Mark has also been one of the resident scenic designers for Scenographics based out of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.


Erin Green (Stage Manager)

Erin hails from the  high plains of Montana and found her way to Concordia College, Moorhead where in 2009 she earned her B.B. in Communication and Theatre Arts with her emphasis in Stage Management.  Relocating permanently to the Twin Cities, Erin has been stage managing for more than six years. Her stage management credits include: “The Heidi Chronicles”, “Madwoman of Chaillot” for Concordia College, “Boxcar Children”, “White Christmas”, “Annie” and the Cabaret Fundraiser for 2012-2013 Season for Lyric Arts, “Bus Stop” for Theatre in the Round, “SHREK the Musical” for Morris Park Players.  Assistant stage management credits include:  “Mr. A's Amazing Maze Plays”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “The Hallelujah Girls” for Lyric Arts & “ The Fantasticks” for Theatre in the Round.  Erin loves the challenge of complicated big stage productions and is very much looking forward to being part “Philly.”


Brittany Eastburn (Assistant Stage Manager and Props Designer)

Brittany is delighted to be joining the Philly team! She is a 2009 graduate of Hamline University as a Theatre major and now keeps busy in many aspects of theatre, including scenic design, lighting design, and technical direction. As a freelance designer and technician, Brittany has worked with many local companies and theaters including Nightpath Productions, Table Salt, The Illusion, and The Southern Theatre. She spends a lot of time at Andover High School, working diligently as their resident Technical Director and designer of almost everything and recently finished a Spotlight Award winning production of A Year With Frog and Toad. In what time she has left she works as Theatre Unbound's Tech Director, builds sets with Rosetown Playhouse, and searches for exciting new companies to work with!


Krissi Dines (Production Coordinator)

Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Krissi moved to the Twin Cities for college and has since fallen in love with Minnesota. She recently graduated from Bethel University with an individualized major in Performing Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship. She has been lucky enough to work in the offices of the Utah Opera, Minnesota Opera, Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, and Bucks County Playhouse where she assisted Tony Award winning producers Robyn Goodman and Alex Fraser. Krissi is currently working with the Children's Theatre Company in play licensing and is excited to start this new adventure with "Philly"!


Lisa Mangone (Lead Costume Designer)

Lisa has most recently designed costumes for Century College’s productions of "The Night of the Iguana" and "Company" where she designs costumes and manages the costume shop for the past ten years. Lisa received her BA in theatre and education from Concordia University and has worked for numerous other theatre companies including: Guthrie Theatre, Theatre Unbound, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Lyric Arts, Stages Theatre Company, Steppingstone Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Anoka High School and many more, as costumer, director, actor, and stage manager.


Lori Schwartz (Costume Designer)

Lori comes to "Philly" from Maple Grove marking her 31st focus of costume design and construction in this century has been with Maple Grove Junior and Senior High schools and C.R.O.S.S. Community Players, although her work has extended with schools and community theaters throughout the metro. Recently, Lori costumed the Concert Choir of Concordia in Moorhead, MN for their national tour and also designed and constructed the costumes for the regional premier of "SHREK the Musical" for HomeBase Theatre in Maple Grove.


Jane Ryan  (Scenic Artist)

Jane Ryan is an MFA graduate from West Virginia University with a degree in Scenic Design & Painting. Painting is what initially attracted her to a career in theater and has been scenic painting for 8 years. She works as a freelance scenic designer in Minneapolis and paints all of her own scenic designs. She has worked as the Scenic Charge Artist on many shows including the Berkshire Theater Festival’s Lion in Winter, Oklahoma, Extremities, The Cat & The Canary, Same Time Next Year, and Anna Christie, as well as West Virginia Public Theater’s Honky Tonk Angels, Oliver, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Chicago, and Nunsense. Jane is very excited to be helping the cast and crew of Philly as they revive the show for a second run. You can see more of Jane’s work in the upcoming productions: Wait Until Dark at Daleko Arts, and Sister Calling My Name at Open Window Theatre.


Cindy Johnson (Marketing Consultant, Assistant to All)

With a knack for developing and executing marketing solutions, herding cats and accomplishing a lot for a little, Cindy has been marketing consumer brands for over twenty years. With a lifetime love of the performing arts (especially dance); she is excited to be a part of the Philly team. Not only is she responsible for promoting this production to the Twin Cities, she is happy to be gaining valuable experience by assisting the cast and crew with anything and everything they need to make this an amazing show.


Ashley Houle (Social Media Consultant)

Ashley is a Minnesota native and attended the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire  While in college, Ashley was given the opportunity to intern for the Eau Claire Jazz Festival and was smitten with theater and arts.  Currently, Ashley is a Consultant Recruiter and oversees all of the social media and marketing for a Hollstadt & Associates, Inc., a Twin Cities management consulting firm and she is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with the 2015 production of “Philly”.


Forest Godfrey (Sound)

Forest Godfrey graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1999 and has been a sound designer in the Twin Cities ever since.  He is excited to be joining the crew of Philly this year! Selected Credits Include... Nimbus:  "In the Age of Paint and Bone", Freshwater Theater:  "If You Don't Weaken",  The Chameleon Theatre Circle: "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Veronica's Room", "Twelfth Night", Guthrie:  "How to be a Korean Woman" ABTech: "Theatre 101", Theater Mu:  "Yellow Fever", "Little Shop of Horrors".  Film credits include: Klingons and Shakespeare (Star Trek VI BluRay/DVD); Courtship, Sex, Commitment (Sinséar Productions).  By day, Forest designs supercomputers at Cray, Inc.


bottom of page